Talks from this year’s Spring Harvest and are available on CD from Essential Christian. This year we went there as a family. Of the talks that I heard these are my three favourites.
Paul in Athens - Russ Parker
Russ Parker author of Healing Dreams and Healing Wounded History talks about the importance of contextualising the Gospel. He shows from Paul’s awareness of the culture in Athens that evangelism does not begin with proclamation but with listening. Russ also tells stories of how God has spoken to him and how he has been prompted by the Holy Spirit to make public apologies both to Muslims for the Crusades and to Catholics in Northern Ireland. Interesting stuff.
Growing - Mark Knight and Russell Rook
Practicing spiritual disciplines is what enables us to grow in God. These are not just Bible reading and prayer – there is a long list. But resolving to improve all of them by next week is impractical. Mark Knight and Russell Rook point out that different churches have different emphases and there is a tendency to judge others, and ourselves, on progress in the disciplines that are popular in our own church. Instead we are encouraged to find out about other disciplines from different Christian traditions. We can then, starting with what suits us best, take one discipline, work on it until it becomes part of our life’s rhythm and then move on to the next. They make it sound so simple.
Go - Phil Wall
Just before Jesus gives the Great Commission in Matthew 28 we read that some doubted. Phil Wall points out the difference between this doubt and what James talks about as 'being pushed around with every idea'. Phil talks about how we can still have plenty to discuss about our faith even we are unsure about some things. In evangelism we should not pretend that we have it all sorted. We need to be able admit that we have not quite got some things yet. People will respect these honest authentic questions. So even with our doubts let us go and talk to people about Jesus.